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Statement on harassment during AMS campaigns

January 27, 2012

KINGSTON, ON – It has come to the attention of the Alma Mater Society (AMS) Elections Team that numerous students involved in the “no” campaign against the question, “Do you agree to the continuation of the OPIRG fee of $4.00 (subject to individual opt-out) for the next three years,” have reported harassment and threats of violence because of their involvement in this campaign. These acts were not necessarily committed by the “yes” campaign, and the AMS reminds the community that it is difficult for campaigns to control the actions of unaffiliated supporters. The AMS does not condone this behavior and encourages all parties to maintain behavior that is above reproach throughout the campaign. Any incidents of intimidation and violations of elections policy are subject to sanctions through the Non-Academic Discipline system.

“Elections and referenda are intended to encourage respectful debate and discussion on campus,” says Patrick Allin, AMS Chief Electoral Officer. “I encourage anyone involved in any campaign to report acts of intimidation to myself at ceo@ams.queensu.ca. All communication will be kept confidential.” The AMS encourages any student who feels unsafe on campus to contact Campus Security at 613-533-6111.  

The campaign in question, identifying as “NOPIRG”, has officially registered with the Commission of Internal Affairs as a “no” campaign and is subject to AMS policy regarding referenda. The AMS remains neutral in all elections and referenda and is committed to ensuring that all those participating in elections and referenda have equal opportunity to educate the student body. The AMS encourages all of its members to educate themselves on the platforms of all the campaigns (www.myAMS.org/elections) and vote via webmail on January 31st and February 1st.

CONTACT:
Please direct all questions or concerns on this matter to Patrick Allin, Chief Electoral Officer, at ceo@ams.queensu.ca or 613-533-6000 ext. 74851.

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